We all already know what police officers do, but then again you’re here so police officers are charged with maintaining law and order, protecting the general public, investigating crimes, and preventing criminal activity from occurring in a nutshell.
So becoming a police officer is choosing a career that would revolve around crime, its prevention, prosecution, and consequently punishment. Policing is a very varied career path, so varied that you can find yourself doing all types of activities.
You may find yourself being responsible for stopping heinous crimes and eradicating dangerous criminal groups, like organized crime syndicates and their likes. Alternatively, you may end up working to reduce anti-social behaviour, or more interestingly you might be involved in counter-terrorism activities.
Moreover, you might be responsible for investigating crimes against people and their property or maintaining public peace and order at large events, public gatherings, and protests.
Essentially, your every day at work would be incredibly varied. After all, we know it isn’t all about arresting perpetrators with their face to the ground, handcuffing criminals, and driving extremely fast with blaring sirens. Accepted, that’s a small aspect of the job, but you would also be asked to do a huge amount of paperwork, attend court hearings, conduct research write reports, and interview suspects.
Police officers are not just simply running around the streets for the sole purpose of arresting criminals: they work also in collaboration with several other public service professionals, like court officers, local businesses and community groups.
Every time, police officers ought to ensure that their actions complies with current legislation. Consequently, police officers ought to keep updated with the most recent developments in crime detection and prevention.
Salary & benefits
The average annual salary for police officers at the start of their training is about £22,000. This aforementioned figure generally increases to about £26,000 annually once the police officer has completed their training program.
Then as they progress and take upon themselves a more senior role, their salary begins to considerably increase.
For example, becoming a sergeant guarantees an earning between £34,000 and £40,000, whilst progressing further to the role of an inspector, would earn them somewhere between £44,000 and £49,000. Further climbing all the way up to the role of a chief inspector, earn them somewhere between £49,000 and £52,000.
It is important to note that police officers who work in London, can expect to earn around £6,500 more annually. This is done solely to compensate for the very high cost of living in London.
Police officers also receive great pension packages, completely free travel across London, and flexible work arrangements as an icing on the cake.
As you most likely already know, working as a police officer does not involve sitting at a desk from 9 to 5 daily. You’ll in most cases work around 35 to 40 hours weekly, but you may be asked to work early mornings, evenings, night shifts, and even weekends from time to time.
The great news is that police officers receive extra pay for any overtime put in, the not-so-good news is they are expected to be at the forces disposal for duty on a 24/7 basis. Both physical fitness and mental agility are key requirements since the job is quite stress-inducing, even under normal circumstances.
For entry into this job, there is no minimum requirements academically for individuals who desire to be part of the police force. Anyone is allowed to join, although you ought to be at least 18 years of age.
This job is open to British, Commonwealth, EC/EEA citizens, and also foreign nationals who don’t have a residency or visa limitation. The recruitment of police officers is usually always carried out by the local police services.
You would be required to pass a series of security background checks and must possess a high level of physical fitness. Contrary to a popular misconception about height restriction there isn’t one. However, you ought to have excellent vision, with or without glasses or contact lenses.
There isn’t a previous work experience requirement either, but it won’t hurt your chances if you had volunteered as a police community support officer or special constable prior to applying for this job.
All prospective police officers ought to go through a series of tests and assessments prior to becoming a trainee police officer, these assessments includes several verbal, numerical and writing exercises, an interview and medical and physical fitness checks.
Training & progression
For Trainee police officers in both England and Wales, they are required to finish the mandated Initial Police Learning & Development Programme (IPLDP) within the first twenty-four months in service.
This programme is split into four phases: induction, community training, basic police skills, and independent patrol. Immediately a trainee police officers complete the aforementioned training period, they would be awarded an NVQ Level 3 and 4 in Policing.
After becoming a fully-fledged police officer, you would need to keep your physical fitness intact, as well as your knowledge and skills top-notch. Consequently, you will be mandated to take part in continuous training sessions all through your career.
After a two-year period of probation, police officers could choose to specialize in a specific area of policing, such as CID (Criminal Investigation Department), child protection, fraud, drugs, traffic and mounted patrol, etc.
As you move upwards through the ranks, you will move from a police constable to becoming a sergeant and afterward to an inspector. In the long run you might become a chief inspector, superintendent or chief superintendent eventually.
There’s a fast-track scheme called the Police High Potential Development Scheme, it is designed to identify highly talented individuals who may be accelerated into more senior positions.